गुणानेतानतीत्य त्रीन्देही देहसमुद्भवान् |
जन्ममृत्युजरादु:खैर्विमुक्तोऽमृतमश्रुते || 20||
guṇān etān atītya trīn dehī deha-samudbhavān
janma-mṛityu-jarā-duḥkhair vimukto ’mṛitam aśhnute
guṇān—the three modes of material nature; etān—these; atītya—transcending; trīn—three; dehī—the embodied; deha—body; samudbhavān—produced of; janma—birth; mṛityu—death; jarā—old age; duḥkhaiḥ—misery; vimuktaḥ—free from; amṛitam—immortality; aśhnute—attains
When the embodied soul has risen above the three gunas of which its body is made, it gains deliverance from birth, death, old age, and pain and becomes immortal.
Gunan: Sattva is included here, because it is also one of the Gunas. As it is pure and transparent, it allows us to perceive Atma through the thin veil. But even Sattva has to go, before man attains the Atmic state, which is above the functions of the mind and ‘Buddhi’.
Why are these Gunas, man’s enemies? They cause birth, and so they are enemies. They cause samsara, and man cannot free himself from bondage on account of them. If one body drops, another comes, and this goes one endlessly. Many millions of births have already come and gone from these Gunas as the seed. Many more will come unless the seed and the tree are totally destroyed by Jnana.
But what is the harm if birth comes to a person? There is the greatest danger. With birth comes death also. Who loves death? No one. With the body comes old age and disease. Who likes old age and disease? No one. With the body comes different kinds of sorrow. Who wants sorrow? No one. No man likes death, disease, old age and sorrow. And yet, with the birth of the body, all these evils come inevitably. When there is no body, these evils are not there. So to be perfectly free, man has to give up the attachment to the body. There is no other way. So, the aspirant is here taught, the way to attain the deathless and therefore birthless state of Paramatma. It is immortality (amritam).
Vimuktah: Freedom from the three Gunas should be complete and perfect. Hence the more emphatic form is used.
Question: By what is the body caused?
Answer: By the three Gunas.
Question: How can man attain Immortality?
Answer: By transcending the three Gunas.
Question: What is the harm of the birth of the body?
Answer: Old age, death, disease, pain suffering and sorrow are all caused by the birth of the body. So the aspirant should strive for Immortality by attaining the Atmic state.
Question: What is Moksha?
Answer: It is free from birth and death.